The Department of National Defence is conducted controlled burning on its Rocky Point property in Metchosin. (Chief Stephanie Dunlop/Metchosin Fire Department)

Controlled burn in Metchosin leaves smoke in the region

DND covering 20.5 hectares with controlled burn to protect Garry oaks

Residents in Greater Victoria may see and smell smoke in the air over the next few days.

Prescribed burning at the Department of National Defence’s Rocky Point property began on Wednesday and is expected to occur for about four to six days between mid-September and the beginning of October.

According to a news release from CFB Esquimalt, Garry oak ecosystems at Rocky Point benefit “significantly” from fire. Without fire, the grassland ecosystems are taken over by conifers such as pine and fir trees as well as invasive plants. The encroaching wildlife reduces the area of Garry oak habitat and increases the risk of uncontrolled fire at Rocky Point.

READ ALSO: DND burns 14 hectares to protect Garry oaks

To improve and restore military training areas and the habitat for rare native plants as well as reduce the risk of forest fire, the prescribed burn is being done over 20.5 hectares of land on the property.

Provincial fire crews are directly supervising the burn during optimal conditions.

Langford Fire Rescue posted on Facebook and Twitter that smoke seen Wednesday evening in Langford’s Happy Valley and surrounding areas was from the prescribed burn and could last for the next three days.

The City of Colwood also posted on its Facebook page saying smoke in the air around Colwood is likely due to the burn.

On Wednesday, Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop shared photos of the burn, saying it will be happening for the next three days.

READ ALSO: Raptors evacuated due to threatening Oakanagan wildfire


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